Chapter 18. Running a Linux Dial-Up Server

18.0. Introduction

In these modern times, dial-up networking might seem a bit quaint. But it still has its place. Many parts of the world still have no access to affordable broadband. A dial-up server is an inexpensive way to provide remote administration access, and to set up a quick and cheap WAN. You may also share a dial-up Internet account; even though that sounds like a recipe for frustration, there are times when it works out. For example, two or three people who don’t do a lot of heavy-duty Interneting could get by all right.

You should use a good-quality hardware-controller modem, ideally from a vendor that supports Linux. Messing with cheapie modem drivers on a server isn’t worth the pain.

18.1. Configuring a Single Dial-Up Account with WvDial


You need to set up a dial-up Internet account on your Linux box, but you don’t know what dialer or configuration utility to use. Or, you know about KPPP and Gnome-PPP, which are good utilities, but KPPP requires KDE libraries, Gnome-PPP requires Gnome libraries, and both require X Windows. You don’t want to down-load all the baggage that comes with them; you just want a simple standalone dialer, or you want a command-line dialer.


The WvDial dial-up program runs from the command line, and runs on any Linux distribution. These are the steps to configure a single account:

  • Make sure you have WvDial and pppd (point-to-point protocol daemon) installed

  • Have your Internet account login information ...

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